What to expect with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

The symptoms of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) are different for each child and the rate at which symptoms worsen varies.1,2 As time goes on, the symptoms of DMD will change:3 
  • As the muscles get weaker, the ability to walk is slowly lost1,3 
  • As the back muscles become weaker, the spine may begin to curve (called scoliosis)3 
  • In late childhood to early adulthood, the upper body and arm muscles also weaken3 
  • The heart and respiratory (or breathing) muscles also weaken over time, which can lead to complications1,3

As DMD is a progressive disease, meaning the symptoms become more apparent over time,1,3,4 it is important to get your child the right treatments and management as soon as possible.1,2 This gives your child the best chance of maintaining their independence and quality of life for as long as possible.1,2,5

  1. Birnkrant DJ, et al. Lancet Neurol. 2018;17:251–267 [Part 1].
  2. van Ruiten HJA, et al. Arch Dis Child. 2014;99:1074–1077.
  3. Sussman M. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2002;10:138–151.
  4. Amato AA, Brown RH Jr. Muscular dystrophies and other muscle diseases. In: Longo DL, et al., editors. Harrison’s principles of internal medicine. 19th edition.
  5. Birnkrant DJ, et al. Lancet Neurol. 2018;17:445–455 [Part 3].
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